Here at Scene Point Blank we don’t give titles to our work. If I titled my Vacation review, though, it would be named after track ten: “Feedback Got Me High.” Vacation are a punk band but, you know, so were Nirvana (at least on a basic level). The point is this: there’s a lot you can do with those power chords, and Vacation has mastered the technique of doing more with less, making each song sound dirty, disruptive, and brash without sounding like any of their peers. While I give it a broad pen stroke as “punk,” it’s also garage, pop, and a handful of other flowery and hyphenated critics’ terms. The underlying and unifying heart behind it all, however, seems to be a tense and strained control over their anger, ready to burst but just contained, and decorated with melodies that are catchy as hell.
It doesn’t take long to get the feel for growth here. Starter “Pyro Hippies” is more poppy in overall sound, lacking the pounding punk drums. It’s a song that makes a statement: the melody is as important as the noise. That noise, though, rears its head later. The sound as whole is feedback laden and dirty, but songs like “Thick Skinned” bring a straight-up lo-fi jam to make a point. At other times, they harness that feedback, as in “Cellophone” and “Everybody Loves the Sun,” both of which (surprisingly) bring The Jesus & Mary Chain to mind. Others, such as “Feedback Got Me High,” “Horny Politicians,” “SFA, “ and “Straight to My Head” are more descriptive of their overall sound. It’s loud and it’s punky, but its tempered. The noise is strategic in the bigger picture, and the anger is underlying, ready to burst but it never fully erupts. What comes, instead, are strong melodies that let that tension simmer without ever losing its fire. “Straight to My Head” (which reminds of some 1980s California band I can’t quite place) and “Feedback Got Me High” are personal favorites, but everything here is really quite solid and plays well in the context of the whole record.
Where their debut played a bit more off feedback and noise slowly overtaking the pop constructs, here they have unified the two monsters in a holy matrimony. I can’t wait to see how the children turn out.
Posted Aug. 1, 2017, 8:10 a.m.
Cincinnati, Ohio’s Vacation are back with a new album, this time a double LP called Southern Grass: The Continuation of Rock’n’Roll, courtesy of Recess Records. Formed in ...
Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 9:22 a.m.
Vacation have posted a demo from a new recording session. The band has added Dylan McCartney on drums and is now playing as a four-piece. They hinted at a new ...
Posted April 21, 2014, 6:31 a.m.
Our newest feature here at Scene Point Blank is our semi-daily quickie Q&A: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every ...
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